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22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

How a privacy experiment at The Drum Live convinced delegates they'd bumped into old friends

Delegates at The Drum Live earlier this month were duped into believing they had bumped into an old friend as part of a live experiment exploring privacy in a digital world.

Innovation company Abundance brought along an actor to forensically research five unsuspecting delegates – including keynote speaker Cindy Gallop – using information freely available on the internet.

During the course of The Drum Live, the actor then used the personal information he’d garnered to convince the perfect strangers he was an old friend. Hidden camera footage – which you can see in the video below – reveals that he managed to successfully trick the delegates, in some cases even soliciting more personal information in the guise of friendly conversation.

The exploits were only revealed at the end of the day when Abundance took to the stage to explain the premise of the experiment.

Chris Ward, joint founder, explained that the experiment is part of an ongoing research programme and creative campaign. “It demonstrates the power of collapsing the traditional lines behind ‘research’ and ‘creativity’, so that the research becomes the campaign,” he said.

Read our feature on the experiment and how the work of Abundance is blurring the line between research and creativity.

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